Today I went to St. Louis and back BY MYSELF for not one, but two meetings.  Crazy!  I rarely go out-of-town, especially by myself.  It felt strange.

1.  Kids up early.  This may seem like a weird thing to be grateful for, but on days when *I* need to leave early it works better for us.  Neither of the little ones like getting up for the day without mama around, so it’s nice when they wake up early enough I can spend some time with them before leaving.

2.  Remembering things.  If you’ve met me in real life, you know how much of a blessing this is to me.  I’m fairly forgetful, although not as much since I started my new calendar system.

3.  Accountability.  I wasn’t grateful about this at first, but after a few minutes of sitting with *why* it bothered me when someone questioned a decision, I realized it was because I felt like I hadn’t necessarily followed proper procedure for something and got called out on it.  I was upset with myself, not the person who held me accountable.  I’m grateful for both the accountability to others and the recognition of how important that is.

4.  Driving alone.  If you’re a parent, you totally get what I’m saying.  No breaking up fights, no negotiating for type of music, no potty stops every ten minutes.  Glorious!

5.  Mixed CDs.  In my simplifying/preparing to move, I came across several unmarked CDs.  I almost threw them out, but I hesitated because I wondered what was on them. Obviously, if I was truly simplifying, I would have thrown them out based solely on the fact I hadn’t seen them in three years.  Whatever, I kept them and brought them along on my little road trip.  Fun!  One of them turned out to be Bob Marley, another was Celtic music, another was a medley from an ex-boyfriend with several songs I really like (along with a few that I could never hear again, thanks to said ex-boyfriend).  I enjoyed popping each one in and being surprised at what came out of the speakers.

6.  Google maps with a little common sense thrown in.  I have yet to use a mapping service that is 100% accurate, although google maps seem to have the highest success rate.

7.  Honest people.  I sat in one of my meetings for the day super-impressed with a mama’s honesty about her frustrations with being a SAHM, nursing her toddler and more.  It’s refreshing when we pull away the veil of appearing perfect to the truth of our lives.  I imagine what it would be like if we were able to do this more often.  Would the high depression rate for mothers go down?  Would there be less guilt?  Would there be less child abuse because there was less of the other two?  What would a world look like where it’s entirely acceptable to say that parenting is hard work and that sometimes it sucks, or to love your kids but still love your job?  What if there were no “mommy wars”, where each choice was valid as the right, perfect choice for your unique family?

8.  Getting things accomplished.  Ah, the joys of crossing things off the to-do list, especially when they’ve been languishing there for months!

9.  Midwives.  As you may have guessed from the title of this blog, or from reading a few posts, or by being my friend in the “real” world, I like midwives.  A lot.  This day involved getting to spend a tiny amount of time with a whole room of them!  As I sat there, I thought about each one who had an impact on my life…some without ever having actually met me in person.  These ladies are some of the most courageous, humble, knowledgeable, caring and dedicated people I know.  They have always been supportive of my path, even when I came to them as a wide-eyed young mom who knew very little .  I often wonder if they know how deeply they’ve impacted my life.

10.  Having a voice in the process.  I like being able to put in my two cents, something which any reader of this blog probably knows by now.

11.  Being happy to see kids.  Sometimes, after a long day away, it’s difficult to readjust to the chaos of life with children.  What can I say?  I enjoy the freedom to go to the bathroom alone, finish a complete thought or sentence and have my food all to myself.  On this day, though, I returned home and was genuinely happy to see my family.  Yay!

12.  Calendar.  Last month, I got serious about getting organized (sort of) with my time and bought a calendar that was pricier than usual but that also had everything I wanted.  It has a few spare pages each month for various notes, a monthly view to write in events, plus a daily view to get more specific.  It is working really well for me.  I’m grateful to have most of the information I need at my fingertips.

13.  Seeing old friends.  Some friends I don’t get to see very often.  When I do get to see them, I’m immensely grateful for whatever pocket of time we have.

14.  Thai food.  This was my first foray into Thai food and it was delicious.  I don’t know what was better, the main dish or the little rolls that came with it.  Mmm….

15.  End of a long day.  This day was fun and productive, which is great.  I’m glad now to be at the end, thankful for the day’s activities, ready to start tomorrow’s big day.  🙂